THERE was plenty of goals and drama as the League action in the Donegal League got underway today after a few weeks of Cup competition.
Brian McCormick Cup Sports Premier Division
Bonagee United 0 Glenea United 0
The first real chance of the game came on twenty minutes when Ryan Mc Gavigan broke in from the right but his strike from the edge of the box was deflected wide for a corner.
The visitors had their first strike from 30 yards on 27 minutes from Shane Coll.
The home side were well on top at this stage but a very packed visitor’s defence made it hard to get through and resulted in long range strikes from Evan McGroary on 34 and Aaron Wasson on 40 but neither bothered Coll between the posts.
The visitors broke clear from midfield through Shane Coll on 46 minutes but Carr in the home goal made a great save just inside the box.
The home side again controlled the second half and a had a few one on ones through Ryan McGavigan on 58, Peter Carr on 60 and Daniel Stolarczyk on 64 but Coll again saved well.
McGavigan had a great strike from 25 yards on 80 minutes which was well saved again by the keeper.
Cappry Rovers1 Kildrum Tigers 1
In a game that was always going to be a tight affair it was Cappry who struck first when Jamie Murray’s shot was deflected into the net.
Kildrum got back level when Matthew Crossan found Kevin Mc Hugh who finished well from inside the box. The second half was another close affair with Kildrum having the better chances. Cappry did have a chance through Jamie Murray when Aaron Kelly played him through but he blazed over the bar.
In 75th minute Kildrum broke down the right side through Kevin McHugh, who found Damien Crossan and his effort brought an outstanding save from Joe Boyle.
Castlefin Celtic 3 Kilmacrennan Celtic 4
Castlefin and Kilmacrennan produced an entertaining opening game to the League season. In a game which each team had a half of dominance, Kilmacrennan edged it for the three points.
The visitors raced into a two-goal lead, firstly Michael Mc Laughlin danced into the box to rifle home from 15 yards and then Chris Flanagan played through Kevin Kelly who slotted home after 20 minutes.
Castlefin had chances of their own, Kieran Friel and Ronan Tourish broke through on goal but failed to find the net.
Kilmacrennan increased their lead in the 35th minute when Ryan Shiels headed home a corner from the left. In the second half, the hosts came out fighting and started the comeback when Aaron Conroy was quickest to react and he nodded into the net after a corner.
Castlefin got another when a Matthew O’Rourke shot deflected into the net with 25 minutes remaining.
The home side kept the pressure on and equalised when a Stevie Roulston cross come shot ended up in the back of the visitor’s net. In the closing stages the only visitor’s attack saw Paul Bradley won a penalty and Terence Shields scored from 12 yards.
Convoy Arsenal 3 Keadue Rovers 6
Convoy Arsenal welcomed Keadue Rovers to Orchard Park for the opening match of the season and the home side took the lead shortly after the kick off through Stephen Doherty after some good work on the wing and a cross from Mark Griffin.
Things didn’t go so well after that in the first half for Convoy as David Ward equalised after pouncing on some poor defending by Convoy.
Jay Doherty scored twice for Keadue as they worked both wings with Doherty finishing well.
Stephen Doherty saw a shot from distance crash off the crossbar for Convoy and just before halftime Callum Boyle made it 4-1 for the visitors.
Jay Doherty was close to completing his hat-trick at the start of the second half with Matt Gallagher saving for Convoy.
Convoy rallied and Mark Griffin scored twice, the first a fine shot from distance to the bottom corner. Noah Mailey had a shot come off the crossbar as Convoy pushed for the equaliser however Keadue finished the match the strongest with Callum Boyle getting his second of the match and Peter McGee scoring to finish the match off for the visitors.
Donegal Town 3 Drumkeen United 3
Donegal town welcomed Drumkeen to the Hospital Field and it was Donegal who were quicker out of the blocks with Stevie Curneen netting after 15 minutes. Drumkeen to their credit kept chasing the game but just before half time Ronan Mc Hugh and Ryan Hegarty made it 3-0 to Donegal. Drumkeen started brightly for the second half and pulled a goal back after forcing a corner-kick. Shortly afterwards they got another to reduce the deficit to one. Drumkeen kept up the pressure and were rewarded with a cool finish with only minutes left on the clock.
Temple Domestic Appliances Division One
Ballybofey United 2 Rathmullan Celtic 2
Rathmullan came from behind twice in this match to journey back to the seaside with a point to show for their efforts. While that trip home will be better than it might have had been, Ballybofey will be ruing the loss of two late goals, one in either half.
Damien Glackin was once again fit to take his place after an early season injury and he wasted no time on his return as he had his side one up on 15 minutes. T
Ballybofey were good value for their lead and the kettle was already boiled for the interval tea when Rathmullan equalised in the forty fifth minute through Jay Curran.
Shane Carlin restore the Ballybofey lead on fifty five minutes and they looked winners elect as the match entered the dying minutes.
Once again, Rathmullan got back on level terms when Kieran Gorman scored their ninetieth minute equaliser. In general it was a decent match between two committed sides.
Fanad United 2 St. Catherines 2
A goal deep into injury time from Keelin Mc Elwaine ensured that the spoils were shared between Fanad United and St. Catherine’s, with the game ending 2-2.
The game started at a high tempo from both teams and St. Catherine’s should have taken the lead in the first minute. When Barry Cannon broke clear he forced a fine save from Mark McConigley and when the rebound fell to Paul Murrin, he fired over the bar.
In the fifth minute Paul Nash was unlucky to see his shot from 20 yards fly over the St. Catherines’ bar. It was Fanad who took the lead in the 15th minute.
They were awarded a free out on the right, Paul Nash floated a dangerous ball into the box and Ciaran Coyle was quickest to the ball and he headed home at the near post. Five minutes later Barry Cannon fired over the Fanad bar when well placed.
Just after the half hour mark St Catherine’s equalised from the spot when Barry Cannon fired high into the net giving Mc Conigley no chance.
Just a minute later Ryan Farrell went on a great run through the Fanad defence but he shot wide.
The early stages of the second half were even enough with both sides enjoying periods of pressure without creating many clear chances. On the hour mark St. Catherine’s took the lead.
Barry Cannon received the ball on the edge of the box, he turned and fired high into the net. In the last 15 minutes for the game Fanad enjoyed good spells of pressure as they went in search of an equaliser.
Paddy McGinley was unlucky to see one header go over the bar from a free kick. Barry Cannon did miss a chance to complete his hat-trick, he was denied by a fine save from Mark McConigley.
As the game headed towards the final whistle Fanad were camped in the St. Catherine’s half looking for the elusive goal. In the 94th minute their pressure paid off as they got an equaliser.
After a corner was knocked back into the back, the referee adjudged that the ball was handled and he awarded a penalty. McElwaine stepped up and made no mistake.
Milford United 3 Gweedore Celtic 4
Gweedore made the journey home with all three points after a seven goals thriller in Milford.
Gweedore took the lead on 20 minutes when a quick free kick found the winger to drive home from seven yards. Milford responded well when Mark Wilson got on the end of a great through ball from Killian Mc Bride to lob the ball over the advancing Michael McKelvey.
Milford took the lead on 55 minutes when Mark Wilson scored a great solo goal, cutting in from the left to rifle the ball into the corner of the net.
Gweedore levelled matters on 60 when Thomas Diver headed home from close range. Milford took the lead five minutes later with a great team goal involving Darragh Kelly Cullen, Paul Ryan and Joey Cullen who found Mark Wilson who completed his hat-trick with a great finish.
Milford were denied a penalty on 65 minutes when Conor McHugh was up ended, but referee Rainey, turned down the claim. Gweedore kept pushing for an equaliser and a shot from distance found the net on 70 minutes.
Five minutes later after a mix-up in the Milford defence the ball broke to Diver and his cross was turned into the net to give Gweedore the winner to the dismay of the Milford players as the attacker seemed to be in an offside position. Johnny Logue was given his marching orders by referee Diego Rainey for his objections.
Swilly Rovers P-P Drumoghill F.C.
Donegal Physiotherapy & Performance Centre Division Two
Deele Harps P-P Glenree United
Dunkineely Celtic 1 Gweedore United 9
(No Report Received)
Lagan Harps 2 Whitestrand United 1
Lagan had to dig deep to come back from a goal down with ten men to earn the three points on League opening day. Lagan shaded the first half but were guilty of squandering chances. Noel Donnelly got sight of goal on ten minutes but his shot lacked power.
Josh Hay then screwed an effort wide at a corner. The best chance fell to Bryan Kelly when set up by Damien Nelis but he shot wide of a gaping net.
In the next attack Darragh Rodgers shot wide when set up by Damien Nelis. Whitestrand looked dangerous when they got forward with centre forward Kane McLaughlin showing good movement.
Their best opportunity fell to Aaron Curran but he sliced his shot wide. Whitestrand started the second half well and put pressure on the Lagan defence.
They scored on sixty minutes when Jordan Nugent got clear on the left and finished well. Bryan Kelly was sent off for disputing the decision.
A downpour then turned tricky conditions much worse and both teams struggled as the surface cut up. Strands’ Kevin Loughrey then had a shot superbly turned over the bar by Jason Quinn.
Conor Crossan then did well to get back and clear another effort off the line. Lagan upped their game with Bernard Mc Menamin and Ciaran Cunningham really battling in midfield.
They started to create more chances. Damien Nelis found Ross Hamlyn who shot just over. Lagan equalised on seventy-five minutes when a cross from Ronan Carlin was headed home superbly by Damien Nelis.
The game swung from end to end with Jason Quinn pulling off a point blank save from Rhys Nugent. Lagan grabbed the winner on 82 minutes when Ross Hamlyn fired home a free from 30 yards.
Letterkenny Rovers 1 Curragh Athletic 0
Letterkenny Rovers opened their league campaign with a narrow 1-0 win over Curragh Athletic at the Letterkenny Community Centre.
In a keenly contested game, the only goal came in the 39th minute courtesy of Leon Doherty just as Rovers were starting to get on top of their visitors.
Caolan McConnell did the spadework down the left-hand side before his low delivery into the box was met by Doherty and the skipper’s low strike found a way past goalkeeper Shane O’Brien.
The hosts had come closest to breaking the deadlock shortly before that during a decent spell of pressure. James Gallagher volleyed narrowly over the bar from 16 yards while O’ Brien got down well to deny a close-range header from Brandon Ndlovu.
The hosts almost doubled their lead before the break but O’Brien again came to Curragh’s rescue, tipping Gallagher’s strike onto the bar.
Curragh survived a few goalmouth scrambles after half-time but they stayed in the game and their fighting spirit was nearly rewarded midway through the second half when Oisin Duffy had a free header from 10 yards which forced Blake Forkan into making a fine save.
In the closing stages substitute Darragh Morrison headed narrowly wide for Rovers who had done enough to emerge with all three points.